Vive Le Canada

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish
Date: Thursday, November 16 2006

How can Canada help prevent a global ‘tragedy of the commons?'

By David Booth

In 1892 my great-uncle was pulled overboard during an Atlantic fishing expedition, subsequently dying entangled in his own nets in the icy waters off the coast of Nova Scotia.

The refusal of the Canadian government to fulfill its obligations to protect its fisheries has led to a macabre reversal of fortunes – it is now our coveted fish stocks that are threatened with forthcoming demise, tangled in nets of governmental inaction and ecologically destructive fishing practices. Much like my ill-fated relative, our future will be inseparably linked with our ocean harvests.

Global fish stocks are currently on the precipice of disaster. Canada has historically been a global leader in marine ecosystem management and oversees one of the largest fisheries in the world. Yet the Harper administration’s characteristic inflexibility on environmental issues is threatening to undermine both Canada’s global leadership on marine protection, and its priceless Atlantic fisheries.


[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 17, 2006]

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